Itinerary was a mess!
We were not really sure how to go through the day but at least we knew where we would start. Ahahay!
October 19, 2013
Since I was sleeping separately with others and we didn’t agreed what time we should be up, I decided to just wake up early. I took a shower in the common bathroom then enjoyed blowdrying my hair. With the cold weather, blowdrying can save me from having a frizzy hair. Haha.
I didn’t know the floor password of Ate Jenny. But worst was, I didn’t even ask their room number! I did not have any idea if they already woke up. I was not sure if they already headed out without me. Haha. I waited at the reception area. I filmed myself outside the hostel. I went back at the reception. I asked the receptionist if my friends already went out. “As far as I know, I haven’t seen them yet.”
Breakfast. I don’t actually eat breakfast. A cup of Milo is enough. But what made me look forward to it is the convenience store itself! I, Ate Jenny and Tita Geny had some in a convenience store located few steps from the hostel. Hoho. Exciting! I filmed first, of course. And then I bought an onigiri (rice balls) and strawberry juice. The drink was seriously delicious and fresh. It had bits of strawberries and I think it even had yogurt. Onigiri (rice balls) was so small but made me really full.
Buying a subway ticket that will take us from Asakusabashi to Shinjuku took as a while. GURL! Just looking at the subway routes was already exhausting! I took out my Japanese dictionary app (JED) and tried to understand everything posted on top of the ticket machines. We asked the personnel for some assistance but he just pointed us to the ticket machines and that was it. Haha. We waited. And then someone came and used the ticket machine. We observed him. Then we did the same thing. Haha. We were just one station away from our destination. HAHAHA.
One more confusing thing about the train stations is their signages. Don’t get me wrong here. I love navigating myself in unfamiliar places. Signages are my bestfriends. Local people are my angels. Map is my life. I know that Japan subway routes are freakingly complicated. I expected that subway stations would have different floors serving different subway lines. But just looking at gazillions of signages laid out before my eyes while local people are rushing around me is seriously a lot to take in. Oh, it was rush hour! I had to filter out unhelpful signages and just focus on what would help us to go to Shinjuku Gyoen. We asked people. We asked every time we took a corner to confirm if we were still heading in the correct direction. Haha.
We finally got out of the subway station and expected that we would easily locate Shinjuku Gyoen from the station. We were wrong. Hahaha. We asked a woman and tried to give us instruction in a way that we can easily understand her while still speaking in Japanese. Hey! I understood her. But maybe I was wrong? Haha. Because she decided to walk with us to the nearest street from where we can go on by ourselves. Haha. She was really helpful.
Shinjuku Gyoen is a National Garden (Gyoen is Imperial Garden). When I saw the map of the garden, I never thought it was really huge and had a lot of landscapes to offer. Don’t be fooled by what you would see as soon as you enter the garden. It was plain. Just plain. Dried and almost no grasses to start with. But. But. Walk on and enjoy the National Garden. First impression does not last, I thought. Here are the photos!
We didn’t go around the whole Shinjuku Gyoen. We strolled from the east (Wooden Pathways) and just straight to the English Landscape Garden until we ended at Green House.
We headed by subway to Harajuku station. Meiji Shrine is JUST right beside the subway station because you might wonder why you don’t find the shrine right away after you get out of the station. We just first found a big torii gate then we went in. The main garden of Meiji Shrine was 20 minutes walk from the torii gate. The shrine ground is massive filled with small stones. You’ll find walls of sake barrels. A lot of them.
Now, Odaiba has an amazing history: how it has become what it is now. You might want to check Odaiba here.
It’s a shopping and entertainment district on a man made island in Tokyo Bay. One should go there for a day at the least. It was raining and we arrived at 5:30 in the afternoon. We barely had everything on our hands so we just went in Odaiba Decks. We went around and found a lot of goods on Takoyaki. Japan even made cartoon character for Takoyaki. School Stuff. Ballpens. Stuff Toy. Make your own Takoyaki. Takoyaki-flavored Breads and Sweets. T-shirt with Takoyaki Face. Notebooks. Bags. Everything. Haha. Looking around the Takoyaki store made me feel greasy. I can feel Takoyaki enveloping me. Although it’s great idea making things about Takoyaki but, no, I don’t find Mr. Takoyaki stuff toy cute. Haaaaa…There are a lot more interesting stores, restos and museum you can find in Decks but please have a look at this website. We were not able to visit everything here. Hehe.
Diver City Tokyo is another huge mall but more luxurious than Decks. You might want to check out the huge branch of Uniqlo here. Food Court is vast and very clean. Like what I have observed in our first day, people clean their own table People return their used plates and utensils to the store where they ordered their meals. Common water station has paper cups so, unlike in SM and Robinsons Malls, you don’t have to worry if the cups are sanitised.
It’s Gundam time! The LIFE SIZE GUNDAM is standing at the west side of DiverCity Tokyo. So coming from Decks, we had to walk straight from the south entrance of the mall. I thought taking photos of Gundam is more great when it’s broad daylight. But hey, Sexy Gundam is glowing in the dark. (No, I don’t mean it in literal way.) The lights that surrounds him made him glow and more beautiful to look at.
If you are wondering what our hostel looks like, check out my vlog. Hostels in Japan is safe but for us, Filipinos, it’s a little expensive. No. No. Really Expensive. But what can we do? That’s their normal prices! (T.T) Instead staying in hotel, might as well stay in hostel and have fun with their creative service and ambience.
I stayed in Khaosan Tokyo Ninja and if you are interested sleeping in a cabin room, visit their website here. You can check their different branches in Tokyo and find which one will suits you best. =)
Check out my vlog (video and blog) and phlog (photo and blog) for more of my experience in my first day!
Phlog: just click on the tags below